This film looks at war in the Libyan Desert of Egypt and Libya. It was made by official photographers, some of whom were captured or killed, which tells you how close they were to the action.
The main footage is of El Alamein, and shows battles taking place, which are a real eye opener to someone, like me, who has only read about the desert war. There is also footage of Churchill and Montgomery. The film is partly a propoganda exercise, and if you are looking for a very detailed analysis of the strategy employed in the desert you will find that it is somewhat one-sided, but it is still stuffed full of information. I have an interest in the Long Range Desert Group, who made a significant contribution to the Western Desert campaigns, but there is no mention of them in this film, and there are other gaps like this - but they are not really what the film was about. If you take it for what it is - a terrific piece of filming with some excellent top-level explanation - then you won't be even slightly dissapointed.
I originally saw it because my parents had a copy, and bought a copy for myself so that I could watch it whenever I wanted to. I would recommend it to anyone. If nothing else, it brings desert warfare to life in a very vivid way.
on 30 November 2013
This film was put together very quickly after the El Alamein victory. Churchill, in his 'Second World War' chronicle, recounts how he immediately sent copies to Roosevelt and to Stalin. It was shown in cinemas throughout the Allied countries. It has remained a classic of 'live' journalism in film, as an immediate response to the first major and significant Allied victory after three years of German expansion, invasion and military supremacy. It gives an excellent feel for the conditions under which the Army, and RAF, fought, advanced, retreated, dug in, prepared and finally pushed inexorably forward until Rommel's forces were scattered. It's probably as near to a concise piece of first-hand evidence as most of us will see.